Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Waste flowing into the ocean in Sihanoukville



Waste flowing into the ocean in Sihanoukville

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Preah Sihanouk provincial administration lacks proper control of its sewage systems and waste is flowing directly into the sea. FACEBOOK

Waste flowing into the ocean in Sihanoukville

An environmental activist and former employee of Mother Nature Cambodia has claimed that the Preah Sihanouk provincial administration lacks proper control of its sewage systems and waste is flowing directly into the sea.

A provincial officer has admitted weaknesses in waste management saying the authorities will take action to prevent construction sites dumping their waste in this manner.

In a three-minute video clip, activist Thon Ratha showed one of the 29 waste pipes he says is located on Ochheuteal Beach, even as the government said the area is one of the most beautiful in the world.

In the last few months, a number of posts have gone viral on Facebook showing the province’s upsurge of casinos, hotels and other entertainment activities built to service the dramatically increasing tourist population in the province.

“I think most people will ask the same questions, like what kind of material is contained in this wastewater? Will it cause health and environmental problems, especially to those swimming in the area?"

“I sent a sample of the polluted water to the laboratory at the Pasteur Institute, so the government could not accuse me of incitement or of causing social chaos. The result indicated that the polluted water came directly from toilets and had many parasites and bacteria that can cause many diseases."

Diseases in the water

“It included E coli, trich-omonas intestinalis, trophozoite and ammonia which came from human faeces and urine which will cause serious harm to swimmers, especially the elderly, children and pregnant women. The symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach ache and can cause death Ratha said.

Preah Sihanouk provincial hall spokesperson and director of the province’s department of information Or Saroeun told The Post: “The polluted water did not come from hotel or construction sites alone, the waste was mixed with natural rainwater.

“The authorities and experts cannot completely control the sewage system or create facilities to separate the waste. We are working on this issue. We found seven locations which need improving immediately,” he said.

Saroeun said drastically increased land prices have resulted in landowners filling lakes and sewage facilities forcing polluted water to flow into the sea.

Plans to upgrade

After the facilities were inspected and assessed by government institutions, the Office of the Council of Ministers (OCM) issued a statement on November 8, signed by the secretary of state Chhit Sokhon, approving plans to upgrade and add capacity to water treatment facilities in Preah Sihanouk province.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport will execute the plan which will take three to five months to complete.

The National Committee for the Management and Development of the Coastal Zone, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities will install four water treatment facilities at Independence Beach, O’Samat, Sokha Beach and Ochheuteal, transferring all wastewater in those areas to water treatment facilities, preventing dirty water flowing into the sea.

The statement said construction sites must be surrounded by fences 80cm high to prevent waste escaping onto roads, beaches, lakes and public areas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,